THE campaign that brought one of the most embarrassing results in Rangers' illustrious history almost delivered a triumph that would have made the record books for all the right reasons.

Season 1966/67 saw Rangers

narrowly miss out on the title, lose in the League Cup Final and, famously, dumped out of the Scottish Cup by Berwick Rangers on a nightmare day for the club.

It also saw Scot Symon guide the Light Blues to their second Cup-Winners' Cup Final, but he would find himself relieved of his duties just months later as he rejected the chance to become general manager at Ibrox.

From a superb defensive effort in Dortmund to the spin of a coin in Spain, Rangers' second journey to a European final will go down as one of the most remarkable in their history.

In the end, Symon's side would once again come up just short as they lost out to a star-studded Bayern Munich side cheered on by a partisan German crowd.

In part two of our European series, CHRIS JACK looks at a memorable run that could, and maybe should, have delivered continental silverware for the first time to Rangers.


September 27, 1966

Glentoran 1-1 Rangers

October 5, 1966

Rangers 4-0 Glentoran

RANGERS would end the Cup-Winners' Cup campaign facing the might of Bayern Munich in their homeland, but the journey to Nuremburg would start in far more auspicious surroundings as they made the trip across the water to Ireland. Scott Symon's side were on course to return to Glasgow with a first-leg victory under their belt thanks to George McLean.

But a last-minute equaliser from Sinclair earned the hosts a draw at the Oval.

It was more an inconvenience than a major problem for Rangers, though, and they never looked like succumbing to a shock first-round defeat.

The second leg was won comfortably in front of 40,000 fans at Ibrox as McLean again found the target, his 78th-minute strike the fourth of the night for Rangers.

Willie Johnston and Dave Smith then put the tie well out of Glentoran's reach before Denis Setterington and McLean netted in quick succession.

Once again, Rangers were off and running in Europe.


November 23, 1966

Rangers 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

December 6, 1966

Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Rangers

LIKE they had done on their route to the final six years previously, Rangers faced German opposition in the second round as they looked to take another step towards European glory.

This was no 11-0 stroll into the next stage of the competition, though, and Symon's side had to work harder for their victory against Dortmund as they eventually edged through.

Goals from Kai Johansen and Alex Smith were enough to give the Light Blues victory on the night.

But the tie was far from over heading into the second leg thanks to a Trimholdt strike on 31 minutes.

It was the goal that gave the Germans hope, but it never proved costly for Rangers in the Stadion Rote Erde as they performed terrifically with ten men for 52 minutes following an injury to Bobby Watson.

A 0-0 stalemate was enough to see the Gers progress but, by the time they would return to European action, they would suffer the ignominy of defeat at Berwick.


March 1, 1967

Rangers 2-0 Real Zaragoza

March 22, 1967

Real Zaragoza 2-0 Rangers

*Rangers won on coin toss

TAILS you win, heads you lose. After 180 minutes of action, four goals and a penalty miss from Dave Smith, Rangers booked their place in the semi-finals by virtue of a coin toss.

Goals from Smith and Alex Willoughby at Ibrox had the Light Blues well on course for a semi-final berth, but the return leg in Spain was a dramatic, and in reality, farcical affair as it was left to chance to determine who would progress in the competition.

A Lapetra strike and Santos penalty, after John Greig was adjudged to have handled, brought the tie level and another half an hour couldn't separate the sides as Smith failed to convert from the spot.

With their chances now 50-50, Greig and Symon elected to go for tails and, after already calling correctly at the start of the game and in extra time, the captain was right for the third time on the night.

As the Zaragoza players were left dejected, Rangers celebrated their progression by the most remarkable of methods.

Greig was later presented with the famous coin by trainer Davie Kinnear and Rangers had a semi-final to look forward to.


April 19, 1967

Slavia Sofia 0-1 Rangers

May 3, 1967

Rangers 1-0 Slavia Sofia

A GOAL in each game gave Rangers wins away and at home and a place in their second European final in six seasons.

A Davie Wilson strike on 31 minutes was enough to secure the victory at the Levski National Stadium and set Rangers up perfectly for the return fixture at Ibrox.

A crowd of 70,000 saw Symon's side dominate proceedings, with only the form of keeper Simeon Simeonov keeping the scoreline down as the Light Blues clinched a 2-0 aggregate triumph.

The Bulgarian was beaten for the only time after 32 minutes as Willie Henderson fired home from the edge of the area after Roger Hynd knocked down a Willie Johnston cross.

The single goal victory was enough for Rangers and now they had the silverware in their sights for a second time.


May 31, 1967

Rangers 0-1 Bayern Munich (after extra time)

IT WAS a story of what might have been for Symon as he once again missed out on being the man to lead Rangers to European glory.

Just days after seeing Celtic triumph in Lisbon, Rangers returned home empty-handed from Nuremburg as Franz Roth netted the only goal of the game in extra time.

The Bayern line-up contained some of the finest German players of all time - Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller - but it was the Symon selection that was the main talking point from a Light Blue perspective as Roger Hynd was given the nod ahead of Alex Willoughby.

Rangers were unable to breach the Bayern rearguard, Hynd seeing a goal disallowed and passing up a chance to put the Gers ahead and it was to prove costly when Franz Roth netted on 109 minutes.

Once again, Rangers had come so far and got so near, but were left empty-handed and without any silverware to show for their efforts in one of the most famous campaigns in Scottish football history.

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